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Reindeer Games

Posted on Sat Feb 9th, 2019 @ 2:36pm by Lieutenant JG Jaya Maera Garlake & Lieutenant Colonel Storr Garlake

Mission: Season 1 Interlude I (E2.5)
Location: Seyann, primary moon of Delta IV
Timeline: ID 26

Once the tribunal called for a recess, the Deltan officials didn't waste any time. A dozen or more diplomatic attachés swarmed Storr and Jaya, giving them only a parting moment before Storr was taken by quasi-force to a secluded examination area.

Storr kissed Jaya deeply before parting as quickly as it had started. "For better or for worse, 'till death do us part," he said stoically, his finger tracing longingly along her jaw before rapidly ceasing as the mass of pencil-necked bureaucrats (if there was a universality to things, paper-pushers would be one of the constants) shuffled the two apart. The Colonel flexed and swung his wide shoulders, sluffing the manhandlers off him as a snake sheds its skin, the group farther and farther away from his love. A quick look over his shoulder met Jaya's gaze and he smiled.

It was a time to be strong. Nonetheless, Jaya stared after her departing husband with forlorn despair.

The scantily clad Deltan swarm kept close quarters around Storr as they bodily escorted him through the outway that the tribunal had used to ascend the dais. The gentle mosh pit soon spat Storr into a small room empty save for a handful of lounge pads and one Chaise longue. Several attachés stood by the door as if to block Storr's retreat, while the rest seated themselves in comfortable if erotic fashion.

Garlake rolled his eyes as it felt like he was about to be interrogated in Caligula's private chambers. While he hoped that it would be an actual horse that questioned him, the figure that strode provocatively through the door dispelled any comic thoughts and made him swear through his clenched teeth.

After a moment, the doors parted to admit the lone female tribunal member. Upon entering, she shed her robes and vestments of office, revealing supple curves and voracious features that were barely hidden by the sparsest of material. "I am Arbiter Lorona of the Eastern Sky Reef and Lingering Isles and Lady of the House of Silverwind. You will undergo a barrage of testing to assess your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Please be advised that we will know if you lie."

*'Lingering Isles' indeed,* he thought, his eyes resting a beat longer on her most ample...assets. Quickly, he raised them to her eye level though her subtle smirk showed that the damage had been done.


Lorona stepped forward and reached the palm of her hand up to Storr's cheek. The flush of her hand cooled the burning passion of his brain chemistry and the urges it pressed.

"When did you enter into physical relations with Jaya Maera?"

The Afrikaner answered easily. "Stardate 2338.4 at Verlos outside Lephalale, South Africa." He took a breath. "It was a Thursday."

What was initially meant to be a snappy retort brought memories of the occasion to the surface like raging bubbles in boiling water. The arrival. Meeting Jaya's sister. The Ambassador's summons and hearing. The family dinner. The shooting with Mtendere. The horse ride. His broken leg. Their wedding vows. Their wedding night. Even as it all threatened to overflow the roiling pot of his mind, it boiled yet did not spill. He curled his fists into a ball, pressed, and let out a breath.

Though she had used her inherent Deltan wiles to pacify Storr's biological responses, her probing eyes challenged him to reveal who he was inside. It was clear she expected him to fold like a drunk at a free wet bar. "Have you been... as you say... 'faithful' to her?"

His mind next flashed to a beach where he watched outside himself, the bluest sky meeting an impossibly crystal blue sea on nearly-blinding white sand. The sun felt warm on his back as a gentle, cool breeze flushed past his bare body, stirring the tropical palms behind him and bringing the distant call of a seagull. Storr watched as he looked into the water, waves lapping at his calves as his toes quickly sunk into the sand beneath from the back-and-forth of the surf. Laughter like crystal broke the reverie as a lithe, nubile form in a string bikini bounded towards the bear of a man, jumping into his arms and squealing in delight as he held her tight and close. Feelings of euphoria, desire, love, lust, and adoration subsumed the two as what seemed like a lifetime of shackled craving was suddenly released. They were suddenly surrounded by the faces of girls in Storr's past but were just as quickly alone again as those faces dissolved like dandelion seeds in a stiff wind. The Oath of Celibacy had expanded but there was only room for two.

"And she to you?" asked Lorona with a skeptical look.

A cold, hard ball formed in Storr's breast and only a single word was uttered. "Absolutely."

"I see." Lorona took a step back and measured Storr with a conflicted gaze. Her eyes scanned the room filled with aides and servants, then fell back to the Afrikaner. "Remain here. I have something I must see to."

Lorona took up her vestments once more, clothing herself, and withdrew from the room. She had been gone less than a moment before Kontos, the ambassador to Earth and original instigator of the whole issue, stepped into the room.

"Colonel Garlake," he said glibly. "Are you well? I hope you have found your stay on Seyann enjoyable. It doesn't have the rich ecstasy of Seyalia, but... well, a man in your predicament may not do so well down there." Kontos was as smug as he was tall. Nearly eye level with Storr, the ambassador gave the sinister smile of a man who believes he had won and his opponent didn't know it yet.

*I guess the horse made an appearance, after all,* the Marine thought with a smug grin. "Perhaps....perhaps."

"As heart-warming as this brief reunion has been, I do have to be going. The council has some deliberation to do on behalf of... your wife." The word was clearly distasteful to his palette. As he turned to leave, he gave a subtle sign to the dozen or so attachés and attendants--a sign that substantially shifted the atmosphere of the room. "See you on the other side, Colonel..."

Kontos slowly backed away, practically leering as the attendants guarding the door filled in to block the only exit. And then the entire room began to disrobe. Not that there was much to it. In the blink of an eye, the small room turned from a professional interview into something lurid and primal, almost ritual. What's more is that several of the attachés reached for Storr, attempting to draw him into the revelry.

The room became heady with the smell of lust and raw desire, the incredible dump of pheromones causing the Afrikaner's eyes to pop as he watched the now-naked Deltans begin their ritualistic carnal knowledge of each other. Pawing hands, reaching to draw him into the tribal licentiousness, already removed the last shred of decency he had and threatened to reduce his resistance to threads. Three incredibly...desirous Deltan woman were running their hands down his arms, sides, and thighs, giggling as they playfully ducked and avoided his increasingly weaker swats. In a lucid moment, it reminded him of a scene from the savannah in which the King of the Jungle, normally feared by all, had been surrounded by hyenas. One on one, a hyena couldn't imagine taking down a lion but twenty would dart in and take a bite, possibly get bitten or killed but it allowed another to swoop in, then another, then another. As sharp nails ran through his hair and scalp, a smooth finger slid across his lips, and soft, silken hands began tracing his abs dangerously southward, his breathing came in heaving fits as the word "jackals" was rasped over and over between gasps of air and balled hands.

Suddenly, muffled voices from the corridor beyond forced their way into the room. Soon it turned to shouting, eventually spilling through the doorway. First into the room was Jaya, her face red and her hands curled into fists.

The sight of his Bride was like a whole sea of ice water on his mind and body. He immediately burst from the three women, sending them to the ground and took three giant steps to close the distance between him and Jaya. Her emotions were as transparent as he had ever seen them and the closer he got the more he was threatened to be pulled into the maelstrom of her heart. As scorching blackness started to close the aperture of his vision, inertia carried him the last step and he took Jaya's face in his hands and kissed her with all his might. A torrential downpour of sensualism and unrequited desire oozed from Garlake's every pore as he unceremoniously raked his hands down Jaya's form to remove her last vestiges of clothing. The blackness was turning to deep crimson, his hands lasciviously cupping her form as the door beyond them opened again.

"I'm so sorry," Jaya whispered through the kissing. "I should've known. I never suspected... but I should've known..." She whimpered in mixed shame and relief at the situation. "This was an induction ceremony into Deltan society. They would've made you a citizen... at the expense of..."

"WHAT!?!" Storr roared. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he had the sneaking suspicion that this was something that had happened before and the results were less than pleasant. At the moment, his body was on autopilot and needed to show these stuck-up Deltans how a real husband took care of his wife.

Another intruder poked his head inside. "Jaya, Storr," said Akiva, who suddenly turned beet red for an entirely different reason than Jaya. "... I, uh..." He cleared his throat before continuing. "Can the rest of you please cover up, for HaShem's sake? I'll finish up out here." He began shaking his head at the ghastly scene he'd stumbled upon. "Have some shame, people..."

Akiva's appearance was another shower of reality on Storr as his breathing and vision began to return to normal and his hearing became less muted. Looking down at Jaya, he started. "There's...there's blood on your face, are you okay?!" he asked, immediately wiping it away with his hands but it only getting worse. Confused, he looked at his palms to realize that they were the source; he must have dug his nails into them harder than he had thought. Shaking his head, he took a loincloth from the ground and did his best to clean up his boervrou.

"It's not mine," Jaya said proudly.

"So...why are you here? And Akiva? What's going on?"

Jaya led him by the hand out of the lion's den into the corridor which would lead back to the outdoor coliseum. Several people crowded nearby, including Arbiter Lorona, Commissioner Maera, and Ambassador Kontos who held a cold compress to his swollen face. Akiva was exchanging words with the arbiter and commissioner while the ambassador stood to one side while a med-tech ran a tricorder over his head.

Akiva stepped away from his conversation to briefly confer with Storr in hushed whispers. "Jaya alerted me when they took you behind closed doors. I came on the Phantom as swift as the QSD would ferry me and prepared a legal case on the way."

Storr placed a hand on Akiva's shoulder and squeezed, his thanks unsaid though full in their met gaze.

When Kontos laid eyes on Storr and Jaya again, he pushed aside the med-tech aside and marched right up to Jaya.

"I will see you jailed!" Kontos stuck his finger down at Jaya. The little Deltan thrust her weight forward like she was going to hit the man, but kept her hands down, instead letting her eyes do the punching. Kontos visibly flinched, which incensed the man all the more.

Storr's hand fell from Akiva as his head swiveled left towards Jaya and the Ambassador, his eyes turning to slits. The Marine simply sidestepped between the two, Kontos' finger now no longer stabbing into thin air but Garlake's pectoral. "Back away. Now."

"How dare you? I am a sitting ambassador of Seyalia!"

"Not anymore," Lorona said, breaking away from Akiva and Commissioner Maera. "Commander ben-Avram has raised a very salient point, one that cannot be ignored."

Kontos looked unconvinced, though a nervous vein began to bulge. "Oh? And what might that be? Starfleet has no jurisdiction in this matter."

"On the contrary," Akiva intervened. "You subjected a Starfleet officer to a sexual ritual against his will."

"The human consented to the psychological evaluation!" Kontos retorted. "Do not lay it upon me if Deltan psychiatric methods are too rigorous for sexually primitive beings. Nobody made him do anything."

Akiva shook his head again. "Legal compulsion nullifies consent. Refusing to undergo this... this encounter would have jeopardized his right standing with this government, as well as the good standing of his spouse, yet it would have also have compromised the very Oath of Celibacy that was under scrutiny. According to the legal system of his homeworld, this is a criminal catch-22 scenario of entrapment. Storr, tell the man the traditional remedy for sex crimes back on Earth."

Storr folded his arms over his chest and leered down at the now-former Ambassador. "I'll skip the boring economic restitution parts and just go straight to the mandatory castration. Chemical or physical, as chosen by the offended party."

"But we're not on Earth," Kontos said. "Here, we must abide by Deltans laws and traditions."

"Not exactly," Arbiter Lorona said. "As a JAG representative, Akiva ben-Avram has filed charges against the Deltan government for 'inflicting intentional emotional pain, suffering, and distress upon a Starfleet officer; for attempted sexual assault against the same; and obstruction of justice if we do not comply with Federation law.' Did I get that right, Commander?"

Akiva took up Kontos' faded smirk. "To the letter, Arbiter."

Storr nodded as each charge was ticked off. Nothing needed to be said.

Kontos cringed when the reality of the situation began to settle on him. "The Foreign Ministry will stand behind me," he said, a hint of desperation in his tone.

"No. It won't." Lorona shook her head. "As Arbiter, I am relieving you of your position as part of Seyalia's pre-litigation settlement. All charges will be dropped on both sides."

"If all charges are dropped, then why am I cast aside?" Kontos objected. "I've served for--"

Lorona interrupted. "Because scenarios such as the one we find ourselves in now are precisely why we have a Foreign Ministry. Your duty was to prevent something like this, not incite it." She turned to Storr and said, "You have the deepest apologies from myself and from the Deltan government, Colonel Garlake."

Before everyone present, Kontos dropped to his knees and begged. "Please, My Lady, do not do this."

"What was it you said a moment ago?" Lorona asked Akiva. "'Have some shame'?" She pulled her hand away from Kontos without dignifying his pleading with a response and then walked away.

Akiva grinned after her but said nothing.

"Mister Kontos," Storr quipped, relishing the man's newly missing honorific, "I do believe that now you have lost any pretense of diplomatic immunity, I highly suggest that you make yourself scarce...extradition to Earth for your crimes would be a real shame." Leaning down so that he would only be heard by the newly-humbled Deltan, Garlake continued in a growl/whisper, "And know, to your dying day, that a 'lesser species' bested you and took your people's greatest beauty to wife. For just himself." A quick grasp of Kontos' shoulders, a spin, and a firm shove more than indicated that the conversation was over.

The disgraced Kontos sneered at Garlake, but there was nothing he could say. A pair of Deltan men discreetly escorted him out of the secure area.

Commissioner Maera, Jaya's father, stood dumbfounded at what he had just witnessed. Though he was technically a bureaucrat, his duty consisted of overseeing the moon's automated weather control system and all it supported. Such wheeling and dealing was far above his pay grade. "I... suppose the matter is adjourned," he said.

"Is it?" Jaya asked. Her question was a loaded one. They had exchanged terrible words the evening prior, and the day's developments did not help matters.

Aker Maera, head of the Seyann Meteorological Commission, looked at his daughter with conflicted feelings. "I love you, Jaya. I cannot approve of the choices you've made, but neither will I condone the abuse you have suffered, nor that of your... spouse. The ambassador..." He huffed in contempt. "I should say former ambassador.... was not wrong in his mission. But what he did? How he went at it... I am ashamed for us all. I wish I could go back and undo it."

While the man spoke, Jaya gazed at him, measuring his words. Part of her wanted to throw his words back in his face. As a mental health professional, she knew that was textbook avoidance--a weak attempt to hide from her pain by throwing up offense. As a jilted daughter and angry wife, she felt compelled to tell her stubborn father precisely where he could shove his traditional values.

But what she wanted most of all was to be free. Any reciprocal wounds she inflicted this day would not be cathartic, but self-crippling. It would not heal the rift between them. It would alienate them from one another, him in his outmoded ideals and her in her bitterness. One day he might broaden his horizon and see that her monogamy was not a societal evil that is the decadent vanguard of their culture's doom, but if she resigned herself to the path of bitterness, she might never escape it. Now was the time to choose--would she overcome evil with good, or would she take the poison pill of resentment and expect it not to kill her?

Aker had finished talking long before Jaya finished her ruminations. The silence between them quivered like the air before a thunderstorm. With unshed tears in her eyes, Jaya stepped up to her father, nearly toe to toe, and kissed him on the cheek. "I forgive you," she said. "For everything."

They exchanged a parting look that surged with regret and hope but said no more.

"Let's go, Storr." Jaya took her husband's hand and gave it a hard squeeze as if to siphon some of his strength.

Lieutenant Colonel Garlake gladly gave her his strength and squeezed her hand back before wrapping his arm over her shoulder. As they strode out of the assembly, he deftly snatched a banner languidly flapping in the breeze and wrapped it around himself like a Roman tunic. "Let's go home, Lief"


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